Reading is almost always subversive. From the time you read the next night's fairy tale under the covers by flashlight when you have already had your bedtime story from Daddy and are supposed to be asleep to the time you are an adult reading junk, hoping no one catches you at it, reading is private; that's the most seductive thing about it. It's you and the book.
We should affirm the great value of reading just for the fun of it. . . . In my experience, Christians are strangely reluctant to take this advice. We tend to be earnest people, always striving for self-improvement, and can be suspicious of mere recreation. But God doesn’t just create, he takes delight in his creation, and expects us to delight in it too; and since he has given us the desire to make things ourselves—has allowed us to be “sub-creators,” as J. R. R. Tolkien says--we may rightly take delight in the things that we (and others) make. Reading for the sheer delight of it—reading at whim—is therefore one of the most important kinds of reading there is.
Fast reading of a great novel will get us the plot. It will get us names, a shadowy idea of characters, a sketch of settings. It will not get us subtleties, small differentiations, depth of emotion and observation, multilayered human experience, the appreciation of simile and metaphor, any sense of context, any comparison with other novels, other writers. Fast reading will not get us cadence and complexities of style and language. It will not get us anything that enters not just the conscious mind but the unconscious. It will not allow the book to burrow down into our memory and become part of ourselves, the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and vicarious experience which helps to form us as complete human beings. It will not develop our awareness or add to the sum of our knowledge and intelligence. Read parts of a newspaper quickly or an encyclopaedia entry, or a fast-food thriller, but do not insult yourself or a book which has been created with its author's painstakingly acquired skill and effort, by seeing how fast you can dispose of it.
Most of us are addicted to non-active reading. The outstanding fault of the non-active or undemanding reader is his inattention to words, and his consequent failure to come to terms with the author.
Reading was a joy, a desperately needed escape -- I didn't read to learn, I was reading to read.
While we pay lip service to the virtues of reading, the truth is that there is still in our culture something that suspects those who read too much, whatever reading too much means, of being lazy, aimless dreamers, people who need to grow up and come outside to where real life is, who think themselves superior in their separateness.
The student can read as fast as his mind will let him, not as slow as his eyes make him.
So -- I confess I have been a rake at reading. I have read those things which I ought not to have read, and I have not read those things which I ought to have read, and there is no health in me -- if by health you mean an inclusive and coherent knowledge of any body of great literature. I can only protest, like all rakes in their shameful senescence, that I have had a good time.
when you read once, you get the understanding ; when you read twice, you get the second understanding. Don't just read, read!
The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.